History | U.S. Home Front During World War II
J400 | 13467 | J. Madison


J400: P-HIST-J 300
Above class open to undergraduate majors only

The seminar focuses on the World War II home front, with some
attention to the connections of the home front to the military
front.  In studying the diverse experiences of war-time Americans,
we will consider, for example, the roles of women in factory
production, the use of propaganda in posters, Hollywood films and
elsewhere, the politics of sacrifice, the quest of African Americans
for equal opportunity, the internment of Japanese Americans, and the
growing power of the federal government during wartime.  Looking
beyond the war years, we’ll consider whether war-time changes
represented temporary or more permanent transformation in twentieth-
century American life.  And we will study the degree to which the
notion of a “good war” may be part myth.

The course work will consist of reading primary and secondary
sources, seminar discussion, and large amounts of out-of-class
writing, including short, weekly essays, plus one longer research
paper. The seminar meets the College’s Intensive Writing requirement.